The David Bowie & Kanye West Conspiracy Theory, Explained


Kanye West wasn’t wrong to appoint
himself “Yeezus,” back in 2013, because according to some music conspiracy
theorists, his destiny to become one of music’s most innovative figures was
determined long ago; let’s say, back in 1972, exactly five years before he was
even born. 1972 was the year when the late David
Bowie released his rock opera, ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the
Spiders from Mars.’ This was his fifth studio album, and a
springboard for Bowie’s alter-ego, Ziggy Stardust. This blog from 2007 claims to
be the “Official Blog for the Kanye West, David Bowie Conspiracy.” The blogger made a case for how Bowie and West are inextricably linked in the most peculiar
of ways. Now it all began with the release of “Ziggy Stardust,” on June 6, 1972. The breakdown goes something like this. The cover of Bowie’s 1972 album featured
an image of the rock star posing on a dark London Street, surrounded by
cardboard boxes and concrete. The only really prominent focal point of the
picture, apart from Bowie’s great shock of blonde
hair: a single illuminated shop sign hanging just above his head that reads
“K. West.” Coincidence, perhaps? The theory then digs a little deeper beyond the
superficial name drop, dissecting the meaning behind the first track on the
album, “Five Years.” The lyrics paint a grim picture of a
world set to end in five years time. Unless, that is, a so-called “Starman,”
descends upon earth to save humanity from itself. Fast forward five years, two
days later and on June 8, 1977 Kanye West was born. Bowie’s predicted “starman” had
arrived. In a 1974 interview with Rolling Stone, Bowie gave an oddly prophetic
description of how his alter-ego eventually leaves this earth: “as soon as
Ziggy dies onstage the infinites take his elements and make themselves visible,” he said at the time. Fittingly, when the rock icon died on January 10, 2016, West
was one of the first artists to commemorate him, tweeting just one hour
after the official Facebook announcement of Bowie’s death: “David Bowie was one of
my most important inspirations, so fearless, so creative, he gave us magic
for a lifetime.” It was this tweet that spurred a
Reddit user to revive the original conspiracy theory, but this time with a
few key updates. The theorist points to Bowie’s final album, ‘Blackstar,’
as a not so thinly-veiled confirmation that West is his chosen successor. First,
the rapper is, quite literally, a black star, and second, the album’s first track,
titled “Blackstar,” features some eerily revealing lyrics. “Something happened on
the day he died,” the lyrics read. But no conspiracy theory is complete
without a few more critical tie-ins. The third track off Bowie’s “Blackstar,” is
titled “Lazarus,” a nod to the biblical character of the same name. In the Bible,
Lazarus falls ill and dies. He is placed in a tomb, and Jesus brings him back from the dead. It’s important to note here that the third track off “Yeezus” is called, unironically, “I Am a God.” The theory is helped along here by the fact that the
outspoken rapper also posed with the crown of thorns on the cover of Rolling Stone back in 2006. Could the Jesus-West
comparisons be any more clear? Oh, and one more thing: three days before Bowie’s death in January 2016, Sia previewed her new song “Reaper,” which coincidentally was co-written and co-produced by none other
than Bowie’s new creative spirit incarnate, Kanye West. My name is Rob Sheffield and I officially do not believe any of these WTF Music Conspiracy Theories.

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